I love my family. I could never hate them. But on Christmas Day, when they repeatedly prevented me from watching the NBA, I came closer than I previously thought possible.
Look, Christmas is the best holiday and a good portion of that is because there’s 12 straight hours of NBA basketball on TV. There’s big meals and cookies and presents and family and friends you don’t see often, sure. But…12 straight hours of NBA basketball!
I had three days off of work in 38 days before my Christmas vacation started. For one week, I wanted to do absolutely nothing useful. I succeeded there. But for that one day, I also wanted to spend exactly half the day watching the NBA, and I was foiled. It was my version of “Blue Christmas”.
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Here are a few of the Christmas injustices forced upon me by my loving, caring family.
My mother saying “since when is there basketball on Christmas?” with a straight face. This was while apparently developing amnesia of all the other Christmases she tried to keep me from watching basketball.
My sister complaining about how the basketball on TV in the background while we opened presents “doesn’t sound like Christmas”. Never mind that no one would be watching the TV while there are presents to examine. A so-called compromise was reached wherein basketball would stay on, muted, while Christmas music was put on. Never mind that the whole point is to have the game’s sound on so you can pay attention casually. I said never mind!
Repeated channel changes to watch Hallmark Christmas movies. I must restrain myself from trashing these things for 482 paragraphs, but they are purely evil, brain-killing, soul-crushing works of horror made by greedy, heartless trolls. There is apparently a stable of attractive people/subpar actors that rotate in and out of each slightly-different-than-the-last-one movie. Will the two attractive people that seem like a mismatch fall in love? Yeah, it’s Christmas! Will the other two similarly attractive people that can’t be together find a way in the end? Yeah, it’s Christmas! Pump in fake snow by the truckload and you’ve got yourself a terrible Hallmark Christmas movie. But when you have family members that cry easier than a newborn slicing onions and for some reason enjoy it, this is what you watch.
Candace Cameron Bure. She is the only Hallmark actor I recognized because I have the misfortune of seeing her on The View every so often. I’m pretty sure she was in every single Hallmark movie that played on Christmas, even though she was probably just in one. I have nothing against her and I’m sure she’s a very nice lady. I just needed a more specific target to lash out at. I’m sorry, Candace.
Volunteering for chores that put me in a room with a TV by myself. I chose to peel the potatoes that would become mashed potatoes, a food I despise and do not eat, just because it meant I could turn on the NBA in the kitchen. This should have been a shameful, humiliating experience for me, but I do not regret it. It was Christmas and drastic measures had to be taken. Especially considering I hadn’t realized how many potatoes it takes to make mashed potatoes for 10 people.
One more showing of Elf. It’s a great movie, no question. But by Christmas Day everyone has seen it at least three and up to 31 times. It’s like carefully and neatly unwrapping a present: just not necessary.
Prime rib dinner. Just kidding. I’ll take prime rib over regular season NBA any day. Playoffs, I’ll go on a case-by-case basis.
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Yet despite the blockades and pitfalls, I still got a decent chunk of Christmas basketball in my system. I coordinated the potatoes trick perfectly to catch the end of Cavs-Warriors. I used the classic trick of “staying up later than everyone” for Clippers-Lakers. And I risked the anger of my family to commandeer the remote as often as possible to see parts of the rest.
Given my odds, I think I watched as much NBA basketball as I possibly could. Sure, it was an upsetting low amount I was not happy with. Still, it was a lovely Christmas, a fine time with family and food and wine. It just could’ve been better with more basketball is all I’m saying.